• Startup Spirit Fuels Growth

    As the South Bend - Elkhart Region celebrates a $42.4 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc., we know that the work to make the best investment with it is really just beginning. The spirit of entrepreneurship has been a vibrant part of our region for decades and the story of our family company could be somewhat of a guidebook for the region as it ventures forward. ITAMCO began as a dream of my uncle Donald Neidig and my father Noble Neidig to have their own business.

  • Five Frequently Missed Marketing Opportunities For Professional Service Providers

    All of us are guilty of missing significant marketing opportunities - even those of us in the business of marketing. But the problem seems especially acute in professional services. The issue is seldom the lack of good intentions. We get busy. We feel pressure to focus on billable hours. Or amid our day-to-day responsibilities, we temporarily lose sight of the fact that marketing needs to be a sustained and nurtured process. With that in mind, let me share with you my list...

  • 3 Ways to Hire For a Cultural Fit

    While the vast majority of companies long for a strong work culture, not all are willing to put in the extra effort that it requires. Instilling culture in new team members isn’t a task that can simply be checked off a list. Rather, it’s a series of things company leadership must do that begins with the hiring process. It doesn’t end there either, though. Companies must be devoted to protecting their culture at all costs. Culture doesn’t happen on it's..

  • A New Narrative For Climate Action In The Midwest

    In recently celebrating the 49th Earth Day, our collective response to climate change and its impacts is evolving in a region where such change is not often expected: in the heart of the Midwest. Consider the results of a new survey in Indiana. Eight out of 10 Hoosiers believe climate change is happening in some form. Seventy-five percent of Hoosiers support efforts to address its impact. What’s more, 65 percent of Hoosiers said they think that climate change is happening more...

  • The Race for a Winning Credit Score

    It’s May in Indy and the sound of revving racecar engines signals good times to come. But try to keep your spending under the yellow flag. Overspending on credit cards during the festivities could turn that May engine roar into a dreaded credit score “dent” come June. That’s not a great way to kick off summer. Here’s what to watch out for so your credit score will be a winner! FICO Credit-Scoring System The FICO (Fair Isaac Corporation) is the most...
  • When The Lights Go Out For Large Retail Spaces, How Do You Create a New Land of Opportunity?

    Another day, another retail giant is closing their stores.  As of early April 2019, over 5,900 store closures in the United States were announced according to Coresight Research. 2018 saw over 5,500 closures with 2017 setting the record with 8,139 closures. Debate abounds on what brought down the once popular shopping mall. The internet and ecommerce?  Millennial buying habits? The resurgence of downtown living and re-urbanization?

  • Ali Cudby is the founder of Your Iconic Brand.

    How To Prevent Customer Turnover

    The other day, I was talking to a business owner who shared a problem they were having in the business. He said the company was spending a lot of time, money and resources on customer acquisition, and the conversion process was going well. The problem started after customers came on board. Customers seemed to like the company’s products, but customer turnover numbers were higher than expected. After all the effort to win customers, they weren’t staying, and this business...

  • Self-Imposed Barriers Job Seekers Need to Overcome

    Many jobseekers spend hours every day filling out job applications online. In today’s world, would-be-employees need to treat the job search itself like a part-time job to get the position of their dreams. But even though a position might be perfect for them, some job seekers get scared off by hefty job requirements. There’s something in that job description they don’t feel confident about. It could be the years of experience required, level of education, or a...

  • (Image courtesy of Bedel Financial Consulting Inc.)

    Think Your Student Loan Will Be Forgiven? Maybe Not!

    With the 2020 election in sight, there’s a hot new topic for potential candidates to rally around—the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. Thousands of college graduates who thought they were on track to have their student loans forgiven are now learning they don’t meet the requirements. Should the program be eliminated, revised, or allow to stand as a harsh lesson to pay attention to the details? The Program The Public Service Loan Forgiveness program was...

  • Hot-Button Compensation Rules Take Center Stage

    After varying periods of waiting in the wings, several big regulatory issues – from controversial topics just gaining traction to updated regulations moving rapidly toward adoption – stand to significantly impact U.S. employers. These rules affect employee compensation, pay equality, rights to privacy, and even the very boundaries of the employer/employee relationship. Here is a summary of three of these issues, including their statuses and trajectories (current as of this...
  • Cigarette Tax Hike Goes Up In Smoke – For Now

    As Indiana legislators passed a two-year, $34.6 billion budget last week, supporters of raising the state’s cigarette tax watched their work snuffed out for another session. Lawmakers had to adjust their final calculations to account for lower predicted sales and income taxes and higher-than-anticipated Medicaid costs. They looked to broaden the sales tax base by targeting online transactions through ‘market facilitators’ and hotel booking sites, and passed a...

  • How to Win Business and Influence People Part 3: Invest with More Focus and Less Diversification

    Very few local businesses have enough of an advertising budget to purchase effective amounts of advertising — or develop effective creative — in more than one type of media. Intelligent Investors know diversifying their stock portfolio spreads risk among many asset classes, but it also reduces returns in bull markets. Intelligent Advertisers must realize a focused approach will lead to the greatest return on investment, with little risk of any bear market.

  • 5 Essential Steps to Launching A New Brand

    When you take a look at successful, seasoned organizations like Apple or newer upstarts like Warby Parker, it’s clear that innovation sets them apart from the competition. Beyond their innovative products and ideas, these companies stand out because they have an effective branding strategy that excites their customers long after their initial purchase.  Whether your company is in the beginning stages of building its brand or considering a rebrand, setting a solid...

  • O-Zone Investing

    The Tax Cuts & Jobs Act of 2017 created a new type of tax benefit that Forbes dubbed "the most unbelievable tax break ever?" It's all about investing in "Opportunity Zones" (O-Zones). Could this be opportunity knocking on your door? A question asked by many is “why was this tax benefit created”.  It is estimated that US taxpayers have trillions of dollars in unrealized capital gains or paper profits. The Opportunity Zone...

  • Trucking CEO: Employees Don't Have to Love Trucking

    When considering joining an organization, it’s likely that you’ll be asked what about the industry attracts you during the interview process. This is not a question I advocate for. Why? Because my organization is a tech company dedicated to the trucking industry. I understand that the industry we work in doesn’t necessarily inspire everyone. And that’s okay. The industry that a prospective employee is joining is far less important than the passion they have...

  • Driving Business Through Public Art Collaboration

    Society works best when each of us plays our part to the best of our ability. Just like every part on a car has an important role to play, the same is true for employees, their families, customers and the communities in which we operate. Recognizing that “Every Part Matters” has played an important role in growing our company and talent through the years.   For many businesses, success is predicated on the ability to attract a motivated, energetic, passionate and...

  • Dan Arens is an Indiana-based business growth advisor.

    Business Growth: Job Losses Could Create Other Opportunities

    The decade of the 60s were turbulent times, for many reasons. Computers were rapidly advancing in many sectors of the economy. They were replacing jobs. They were putting people out of work. They were going to be the downfall of the country. Some people even thought computers were a communist plot to destroy our economy. Of all the issues stated in the previous paragraph, only a few were true. Computers were putting people out of work and they were eliminating jobs. In hindsight...

  • 8 (Financial) Tips for Sleeping Through a Storm

    According to an NBCnews.com article, 65 percent of Americans lose sleep worrying over finances. So, how well do you sleep at night? Are you the “farmer” or the “farmhand” in Mitch Albom’s book, “Have a Little Faith?”  If you’re not familiar with it, here’s the story. A farmer hired a helper who had only one personal reference: “He sleeps in a storm.” The farmer never understood this until one stormy night...

  • Encouraging our New Tech Workforce

    For the past ten years, I’ve worked at the same tech company and I joke that this might be some sort of record for a Millennial. In that time, I have watched Indiana’s tech landscape become more robust. In fact, across our state, there are thousands of tech jobs available right now. Wouldn’t it be amazing, if the forty thousand students graduating from high school in the next month, were to stay in Indiana and fill these tech jobs? Like many developers, I was...

  • Indiana's Rural Digital Divide is Real, But There Are Solutions

    While the digital divide may be shrinking in the United States, it is getting wider in our nation’s rural communities, and this is costing these communities $47 billion a year, according to a recent study by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Amazon. With a rural population of roughly 22 percent, Indiana has reason to be concerned. The digital divide—a gap in access to information and communications technology— was generally seen as shrinking in recent years with the...

  • Two Time-Sensitive Opportunities for Civic Action this Earth Month

    Hiking through a natural area with a reusable bottle of fresh, clean drinking water is likely an image that you can relate to during springtime in Indiana.  But neither achieving clean drinking water nor having easy access to nature happens spontaneously: It occurs because of decisions we make as families and as citizens.  As we enter the final stretch of Earth Month and the 2019 Indiana General Assembly, we have -- as citizens -- incredible and time-sensitive opportunities...

  • Owe Taxes? What Went Wrong in 2018 and How to Survive It

    The 2018 tax filing deadline came and went. Whew! But for some Americans, the tax headache has just begun. This year was the first filing under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and while some taxpayers saw larger refunds others received a rude awakening. If you’re reeling from a large tax burden, this article is for you. The Root of the Problem Remember how excited you were when you received your first paycheck—followed by dismay when you saw how much was taken out for taxes.

  • Regional Investment Proposal Could be a Game Changer for Quality of Place Initiatives in Indiana

    While quality of place may be defined differently by people, a growing number of Hoosiers recognize the importance of this issue. In particular, the impact of quality of place on talent attraction and retention in a geographic area cannot be ignored. The future of every community is dependent on quality of place. Like many Midwestern states, Indiana is not growing at the same pace as areas in the southern and western regions of the United States.

  • Chris Watts is president of the Indiana Fiscal Policy Institute.

    Revenue Forecast Shapes State Spending – And Surplus - Negotiations

    This week, the State Budget Committee heard an updated revenue forecast that could best be described as overcast but not stormy – yet.  Sales taxes, the largest source of state revenue, fared well from the December forecast – down a modest $15 million over the 2020-21 budget (and likely to be buoyed by new policies for online hotel and retail sales taxes moving through the legislature).  Individual income taxes showed a more dramatic decline, continuing a...

  • How Employers Can Successfully Handle Salary Negotiations

    Most of the time hiring managers send an offer letter to the potential candidate in what is often considered the final step in a long and trying hiring process. While hiring managers hope a candidate will simply sign the offer and send it back, there is another situation which will often arise, a salary negotiation. Counter offers are commonly faced by employers and it’s important to be adequately prepared for this situation. While it’s often assumed that this is only a...

  • It’s Tax Season: Don’t Fear the Audit

    The 2019 tax-filing season continues, and for a good measure of folks, so has that niggling knot in the gut. Not that you’ve done or intend to do anything underhanded, but right on time the annual anxiety arrives. It shouldn’t. Don’t fear the audit. Read on to learn why. When it comes to tax preparation, the second biggest mistake many business owners make is nearly as important as the first, and that’s fearing rather than respecting the Internal Revenue...

  • Spin-Offs: A Rude Surprise or Fantastic Opportunity?

    On Tuesday, April 2nd, DowDuPont (DWDP) dropped more than 30 percent! In this case, the drop resulted from DWDP’s calculated creation of a spin-off, Dow, Inc. (DOW).  What would induce a company to split itself? And if you’re a shareholder, what might that mean for your portfolio going forward? What are Spin-Offs? First of all, let’s define “spin-off.” A spin-off occurs when a company creates a new stand-alone entity for an existing business or...

  • Integrated Healthcare a Boon for Employees, and Employers

    You may have heard the phrase "Integrated Healthcare" tossed around, but don’t know exactly what it means. It’s a term used within the healthcare industry for a paradigm shift in how we deliver care: treating the entire person rather than just a set of separate symptoms or challenges. It’s a global trend that has also been referred to as “coordinated care” or “comprehensive care.” But in practice, it means associating disciplin...
  • Why Mission Always Reigns Supreme

    Think for a moment about starting a restaurant. As an owner, you have to worry about borrowing money from a bank, hiring employees, creating a menu, setting prices, paying bills and an endless list of other tasks.  But if the food doesn’t taste great and the experience isn’t enjoyable, then the restaurant is never going to make it. Nonprofits follow a similar trajectory. There are so many important aspects: fundraising, board governance, succession planning, fraud...

  • Wojtowicz founded Indianapolis-based Cambridge Capital Management Corp. in 1983.

    Gaining in The Short Term vs. Winning in The Long Run

    For any business owner, increasing sales is always a goal in plans for the next quarter, six months or year. New business is important to any company's survival. A company that fails to generate new activity will — sooner or later — disappear. But long-term relationships with clients or customers is also at the heart of a company’s continuity. We want customers who are loyal to us (this is why advertisers frequently target the 18-39 age groups in the hope of...

  • Scott Flood is the owner of Scott Flood Writing.

    The Curse of Education

    I'd like to thank higher education and big business for my career success. Not because they taught me how to write clearly and effectively, but because they’ve rendered so many people unable to do the same, creating plenty of work for me. Economists and psychologists have given the name "curse of knowledge" to a phenomenon I’ve long observed. In simple terms, it’s what happens when we fail to recognize that others may not know the same things that we...

  • Today’s Housing Market: Finance Options for Buying Before Selling

    The home-buying season is kicking off and Indiana Business Review projects Indiana’s housing market will remain strong, with a low inventory and rising prices. This means buyers may need to act quickly to consummate a deal. What if you need to sell a house before you buy? There are options. Perfection versus Reality In a perfect world, you’d sell your existing home and buy a new home simultaneously. You can then use the funds from the sale for the down payment on...

  • Caught in an Emotional Storm

    Picture yourself on the highway. As you drive further along your route you see a storm coming but underestimate how powerful it could be. Perhaps you continue onward hoping for it to pass or end quickly. As you press forward it becomes very difficult to see even inches in front of your car. You are forced to pull off to the shoulder on the side of the road. There is nothing to do but wait. As you look around, other cars are doing the same. You may also notice that your passenger is...

  • National Volunteer Month Marks an Opportunity to Make a Big Impact

    For over 97 years, members of the Junior League of Indianapolis (JLI) have rolled up their sleeves and worked hard to build a better community. We strive to be a catalyst for lasting change in the lives of children and their families. We know we can’t accomplish this goal alone, and that’s why we support and partner with other community organizations doing good work in central Indiana. Since 2000, JLI has given more than $2 million in grants to organizations around the...

  • Dan Arens is an Indiana-based business growth advisor.

    Business Growth: Obstacles in the Path

    This time of year, surveys regarding business growth or decline continue to pour out from governmental agencies, academic institutions, and various think tanks from around the country. While there are several well-respected entities who regularly publish relevant statistics on our economy, some recently published information is more disturbing with regard to small business. Most polls and surveys indicate and support small business as one of the main drivers of our economy. Yet, in a...
  • The Importance of Leveraging Grant Opportunities for School Success

    The importance of education is obvious when you see the many successes from schools and students across the nation, but what ensures that innovative ideas can become realities? One word - Funding. Unfortunately, school districts cannot rely solely on general fund dollars to fully support all of the programming and opportunities necessary to meet the academic, behavioral, college/career, and social/emotional needs of the students, teachers, families, and community.

  • What To Do When DIY Is No Longer Strategic

    Want to fix a kitchen sink, restore a broken dryer to health, or create the perfect crème brulee? A quick trip to YouTube will give you dozens of do-it-yourself videos. People like the DIY approach because they feel it empowers them and saves money. Entrepreneurs in particular love to boast about “bootstrap” approaches to their business needs, taking pride in handling every aspect right down to cleaning the office toilets themselves. While DIY approaches may make...

  • (Image courtesy of Bedel Financial Consulting Inc.)

    Are You FIRE-d Up?!

    Have you heard of the FIRE (Financially Independent Retire Early) movement?  It’s beginning to make headlines nationwide. In its purest form, “firing” is aggressively saving with the intention to retire from Corporate America ASAP. Is this a recipe for success or a very bad ending?  Do You Have What It Takes? Want to learn how to retire early? The key to becoming an early retiree is to have a solid financial plan in place. The meat and potatoes of that is...
  • Ensuring Safety At Your Big Events

    Companies, schools, and community organizations put a great deal of thought and planning into large-scale events. It's important that they also concentrate on protecting the safety of attendees. Whether it’s a big celebration for employees, a holiday festival in a park, or an athletic tournament at a school, events bring large groups of people into a small area for a set amount of time. In the past, thoughts about security were focused more on dealing with someone who might...

  • It’s Decided: Leaders Need More Love

    Making big decisions is hard. Sometimes it’s paralyzing. Leaders are expected to make the right call, but that can be a tall order in times of crisis. And lately, most everything feels like a crisis. These are times where so much of what we value – as a nation, as states and as citizens – feels like it’s up for grabs. We desperately need servant leaders who can thoughtfully sift through all the messiness and choose the best path. But, most Americans are...

  • What Being a Colts Cheerleader Taught Me About Running a Business

    Dance has been a lifelong passion of mine, spending much of my youth in and out of dance studios and recitals. To keep this passion alive after graduation, I auditioned for a spot with the Colts Cheerleaders. Over the course of four seasons with the team, I was awarded countless, unforgettable experiences and gained lifelong friends. But, eventually, it was time for a new chapter in my career. Dancing and cheerleading for that long takes a toll on your body, both mentally and...

  • Pet Insurance: Good idea?

    If your family includes a pet or two, you'd probably do anything to keep them safe, healthy, and happy. But what if your pet was diagnosed with a treatable cancer? Would it be a medically unnecessary death sentence or a $10,000 drain on your family’s finances? Pet insurance could eliminate your need to choose between these two undesirable options. According to the American Pet Products Association (APPA), today approximately 70 million households include pets. Cats and dogs...

  • (photo courtesy of Bosma Enterprises)

    Making a Difference Through Meaningful Employment

    Imagine facing a 70 percent unemployment rate. That is the challenge people who are blind or visually impaired are up against when trying to find employment. And it is why Bosma Enterprises' mission to create opportunities is so important. The Governor’s Council designates each March as Disability Awareness Month to promote independence, integration and inclusion of all people who have disabilities. As the state’s largest employer of people who are blind or...

  • Sink or Swim: How to Stop Sabotaging New Hires

    You've jumped through the hiring hoops and emerged with some transformational talent. Before joining your company, Joe slashed costs and doubled revenue at his previous job, and Sue is known for building record-breaking teams and product launches. It should take them no time to produce similar results in your organization, right? In reality, Joe and Sue’s performances will hinge heavily on how you manage their post-hire assimilation: a cycle all new hires experience, lasting...

  • It's Time For The U.S. to Adopt a Presidential Regional Primary and Caucus System

    As a high school senior at North Central High School in Indianapolis, Martin Moore, one of the best teachers that I ever had, challenged our Accelerated American Government class to think about how we nominate presidential candidates in the United States. Little did I know at the time that our conversations about changing the presidential primary/caucus structure would ring so true a few decades later. In response to Mr. Moore’s challenge, I wrote a paper outlining...

  • Why HR Should Embrace AI

    With the increased introduction of artificial intelligence, many companies worry about its long-term effects. Although AI has been adopted by many industries, the common fear remains: Will AI eventually take over our jobs? Contrary to this belief, AI can be extremely beneficial in helping humans improve productivity at work,make their day-to-day tasks easier and allow more time for creative tasks only humans can perform. One department that can especially benefit from jumping on the...

  • Market Caps: What's in Your Portfolio?

    Investors understand the importance of having a proper balance of large-, mid-, and small-cap companies in their stock portfolios. Unfortunately, there are no strict rules followed by index funds when categorizing by company size. When you "check under the hood" of your portfolio, you may discover you’re taking more (or less) risk than you intended! What Is Market Cap? Market capitalization, or market cap, is a term used to represent the size of a company.

  • The Importance of Music Education in Our Schools

    With March being Music In Our Schools month, a month dedicated to supporting school music, now is a great time to recognize this importance and take a look at why schools need to have music education programs. As school districts continue to face increased demands with limited resources, they are often forced to eliminate music and arts programs first to keep up with costs. However, research continues to...

  • AUDIT Your Customer Service

    Imagine waiting in line for service for 12 minutes and then just as you reach the window the employee leaves for lunch without explanation. Surprisingly, events like these happen too often, in fact I had such an experience the other day. Could it have been at your place of business? I've worked in service businesses for more than three decades and now as a consultant to them I often hear familiar verbiage. "Our customer conversion numbers have reached...

  • How Indiana Can Become a Leader in Inclusion

    Diversity has always been a hot topic among HR professionals. While race and gender have historically been front and center in discussions on diversity, disability and culture are picking up speed as businesses are increasingly focused on how diversity in their workforces supports their bottom line goals. Through disability inclusion consultation and training, Tangram Business Resourcing empowers businesses to be intentional with inclusion strategies. There are many companies...

  • Wojtowicz founded Indianapolis-based Cambridge Capital Management Corp. in 1983.

    Small-Business Financing Helps Hoosier Sock Maker Step to Success

    The recent sale of Martinsville-based For Bare Feet to a New York private equity firm is a success story. It was Sharon Rivenbark’s idea. She started For Bare Feet more than 30 years ago with nothing but an antique sock-knitting machine and help from her son and, eventually, four daughters. They were in a tiny building in just-as-tiny Helmsburg in Brown County. Beginning with a sale to Indiana University’s book store, they slowly found markets for their creative, brightly...

  • Are You Making the Most of Your HSA?

    The increase in high-deductible health plans is contributing to the rising popularity of Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). As of mid-year 2018, according to Morningstar, HSA assets reached $51 billion!  Can you invest the funds in your HSA? Yes, but here’s what you need to consider.  First, a quick refresher on health savings accounts is in order. HSAs are only available to those covered by a qualified high-deductible health plan (HDHP). The minimum deductible...

  • Robby Slaughter

    Tips for Productive Presentations in the Workplace

    You should be making presentations at work. There is no more powerful method for communicating ideas, building value, earning respect and gaining support than standing in front of a group and speaking with passion. Nevertheless, most of us have been the victim of terrible experiences in the conference room. 

  • Social Media Marketing: Get To The Point

    I'm a writer at heart, and I tend towards longer form pieces like essays and blog posts. Put another way, I’m not always great at communicating with brevity. There are many topics that absolutely need longer form context to adequately communicate a more substantive message. But, if we’re being honest with ourselves, there are just as many topics where a good editor would make the communication far more fluid. This is one of the reasons I have a love/hate relationship with...
  • Dan Arens is an Indiana-based business growth advisor.

    Grow Your Business: Do Not Delay

    Everyone has done it. Put things off. It is also known as procrastination, delaying things until tomorrow, when you could do them today. But tomorrow never comes. In a recent article for Entrepreneur, writer Aytekin Tank makes a compelling argument on how to stop putting things off. While much research has been compiled over the past several decades, procrastination comes down to each individual and how they deal with it, since everyone is confronted with it at one time or another...

  • Credit Card Balance Transfers: Worth the Hassle?

    There’s no denying it. Americans love their credit cards. They’re convenient to carry and come in handy for unexpected expenses. Some even reward you with cash/points/travel miles just for using them. But far too many Americans face out-of-control credit card debt. Are you one? If so, isn’t it time to get out of the rat race? Let’s look at the overall picture. According to Fortune.com, Americans have about $974.2 billion in credit card debt. That’s an...

  • Businesses Rely on General Aviation

    The business community in Dubois County is dominated by a niche industry: furniture. Some of the county’s largest employers are furniture manufacturers, like Best Home Furnishings, Masterbrand Cabinets, Kimball International, and my business, OFS. Though our businesses have locations across the country, we all take advantage of Indiana’s manufacturing tradition. By basing large plants in smaller towns like Huntingburg, Jasper and Ferdinand, we promote economic development...

  • How to Win Business and Influence People Part 2: Be a Better Merchandiser

    If your goal is to show a positive return on your invested marketing dollars, there are three key elements of your strategy that must work in harmony — the math, the merchandising, and the messaging.   In part one I emphasized how important it is to create a unique selling point or compelling offer (the message), so you can generate immediate response and track your advertising. In part two I'll focus on how important it is to maximize opportunities created by your...

  • An Overlooked Workforce: How to Develop Employees Who Are Too Often Underserved

    When it comes to employee professional development programs, most companies seem to have it all figured out - on the surface, at least. Maybe they offer leadership development training to young professionals or perhaps they allow individuals to participate in growth-focused special projects. In turn, the employees participating in these types of programs are often the ones selected for internal promotions and advancement opportunities. It seems like a win-win for everyone.

  • Scott Flood is the owner of Scott Flood Writing.

    Better Ways to Prufrede

    I've witnessed many changes in my career, and one of the most disturbing is a dramatic increase in the number of typos and other mistakes in materials produced by companies and organizations. I believe it’s the result of three factors: an emphasis on haste, a reliance on spellcheckers in software, and creeping ignorance about spelling and language. So are mistakes really a big deal? They can be. I remember when NASA lost a $125 million spacecraft because one of the teams...

  • Do Reverse Mortgages Deserve Their Bad Rap?

    Many preconceived notions surround the term "reverse mortgage," And, a lot of them are negative. In fact, it’s practically become taboo to broach the topic within the context of financial planning. But why is that? What is a reverse mortgage and how does it work? Simply put, a reverse mortgage allows borrowers to tap into their home’s equity (similar to a home equity loan) without having to make a monthly payment. To qualify, the following requirements must...

  • Indiana's Regrettable Struggle to Pass Hate Crime Legislation

    It shouldn’t be this hard. The Senate’s Public Policy Committee voted 9-1 in favor of SB-12 this week, a bill that would have codified (as written) hate crime bias to include protections for race, religion, color, sex, gender identity, disability, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, and age. SB-12 then made its way to the full Senate. Preceded by a lengthy deliberation by the Senate’s Republican caucus, the Senate voted 33-16 in favor of a watered-down...

  • Using The Police as a Viable Resource

    Your local law enforcement agency exists to safeguard the community, and that includes your organization's facilities. To protect your places and people effectively, officers need you to play an active role. First, the police want you to call if something isn’t right. There’s a common misconception that officers will be angry if a call they receive turns out to be unfounded, or that they’ll make light of the situation or caller. The reality is that police...

  • A Pro Photographer Can Be Your Best Friend

    It's no surprise that an estimated 8.8 trillion photos were taken worldwide during 2018, given that most of us carry high-quality cameras in our phones. But shooting all those photos doesn't make us photographers. Digital technology has become a powerful equalizer in so many ways. Everyday people have access to tools that are far more sophisticated than what professionals had at their disposal a couple decades ago. High-school-age musicians can craft 24-track studio recordings in the...
  • Deducing Deductions For The Home Office

    It's tax season. Knowing that the gig worker is often at home working hard, it's important to understand how your workspace affects your tax return. The home office expense still elicits occasional eye rolls from tax professionals who are well aware of its historical misuse and abuse. And some taxpayers avoid claiming legitimate home office expenses, for fear of getting audited. Certified number crunchers often did little to allay their worries. (Maybe they thought avoiding the line...

  • Perspectives: INPower

    • Sustain IU: Energy and Climate Work On and Off Campus

      Indiana University is committed to sustainability within and beyond the Sample Gates. Our Bicentennial Strategic plan identifies “sustainability, stewardship and accountability for natural, human, and economic resources” as a core value of the University. This commitment reflects an understanding of the environmental changes we are experiencing and can expect in the future. To put it into perspective, the Indiana Climate Change Impacts Assessment suggests that under a...

    • Educating New and Current Workforce to Fulfill Advancing Energy Sector Needs

      As entire industries begin moving toward hybrid, electrified, and advanced power sources, a new set of talent and expertise is required in the workforce. In 2018, advanced clean energy jobs outnumbered fossil fuel jobs by four to one in the Midwest. Today, Asia and Europe are ahead of the U.S., as the needs for advanced power and batteries have grown exponentially. The state of Indiana is now well on its way to leading a new job growth with projects in the electrification of private...

    • Environmental Literacy for Indiana’s K-12 Students

      The world’s leading climate scientists have spoken. If left unchecked, the current rate of greenhouse gas emissions not only endangers the health and security of future generations, but could bring major environmental and social crises as soon as 2040. The landmark report issued in October by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicts climate-related risk to natural systems as well as to human health, livelihoods, food security, water supply, and...

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  • Perspectives: Manufacturing & Logistics

    • Businesses Rely on General Aviation

      The business community in Dubois County is dominated by a niche industry: furniture. Some of the county’s largest employers are furniture manufacturers, like Best Home Furnishings, Masterbrand Cabinets, Kimball International, and my business, OFS. Though our businesses have locations across the country, we all take advantage of Indiana’s manufacturing tradition. By basing large plants in smaller towns like Huntingburg, Jasper and Ferdinand, we promote economic development...

    • New Emissions Regulations to Hit The Bottom Line

      Starting Jan. 1, 2020, the International Maritime Organization will require all fuels used by container ships to contain no more than 0.5 percent sulfur. The cap is a significant reduction from the existing sulfur limit, which is 3.5 percent, and is well below the industry average of 2.7 percent sulfur content. The new regulation is a year away, but the impact will hit the bottom line in 2019 for companies that import or export goods.

    • How VR and AR Can Help Keep Engineers Safe and Manufacturing Strong

      The 2018 Indiana Manufacturing Survey, published by accounting firm Katz, Sapper & Miller, found that 91 percent of Hoosier manufacturers expected to see increases in revenue in 2018. After years of uncertainty, the local manufacturing industry remains a competitive force in the state, in part because of the availability of smart, connected and often automated technology. Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are no exception, and the application of these technologies...

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  • Perspectives: Life Sciences

    • The Future of Animal Ag Tech – Leading in Indiana

      Indiana is playing a leading role in the Ag Tech revolution. Three trends are among those driving that movement; increased focus on animal wellbeing, the emergence of new technologies that recognize sustainability as a business driver and the evolution of precision farming. 

    • IU School of Medicine publishes research breakthroughs in two priority areas

      IU School of Medicine researchers recently made news with significant scientific breakthroughs in two of the school’s research priority areas: triple negative breast cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. 

    • IBRI collaboration helps discover a new genetic disease

      A collaborative research project led in part by the Indiana Biosciences Research Institute (IBRI) has resulted in the first description of a new monogenic disease, named, “DHPS Deficiency.” Our study identified the first human mutations in the deoxyhypusine synthase (DHPS) gene and described certain cellular effects that result from these mutations. 

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  • Perspectives: Ag INnovation

    • Rural Nonprofits Lack Planning Expertise

      There have been several efforts targeting the advancement of rural communities and their welfare. However, the nonprofits that play a pivotal role in providing service to these same areas are struggling to operate efficiently. A recent survey conducted puts the focus on their plight. Our firm appealed to over 100 organizations in a 20-county area focused in southeastern Indiana, bordered primarily by Interstates 65 and 70. The results were not surprising.

    • Avoiding Accidental Franchise Pitfalls

      Most people think they know a “franchise” when they see one—McDonald’s, Subway, 7-Eleven, Anytime Fitness, to name a few. However, there are some franchise relationships that are not so obvious. Many business relationships, including those in manufacturing and distribution, could easily become “accidental” franchises if companies are not careful. 

    • Innovate, Collaborate and Take Indiana to the Next Level

      When I think about what makes Indiana so great, many things come to mind: our stellar business climate, our world-class life sciences industry, our cutting-edge technology scene, and our enviable agriculture sector.  

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  • Perspectives: BigWigs & New Gigs

    • Visa Restrictions Continue Across the Northern Border

      While focus on the southern border continues to captivate national and international media, some significant, yet quieter, changes are occurring across our norther border. In an unannounced policy change and despite longstanding regulations, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is refusing to consider requests for renewal of L-1 visa status for Canadian specialty workers pursuant to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). 

    • Ensuring Success in Succession Planning

      The CEO of a successful Midwest bank was rapidly approaching retirement age. Under his dynamic and inspired leadership, the bank had enjoyed 25 years of successful growth, expanding to more than 400 employees. The bank’s board of directors recognized that their CEO would be stepping down in the next few years, and that they needed to start work on identifying a successor.

    • Kevin Eikenberry

      How To Earn People’s Attention in Your Next Presentation

      Before you dive into the details of your next presentation, start preparing your PowerPoint and stressing about how it will go . . . Stop. And ask yourself a more important question. A question that far-too-few people ask. How will I earn their attention? Because if they aren’t paying attention, your message will be lost. This has always been an important question, but in our frantic, internet and gadget-filled lives...

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Events



  • Most Popular Stories

    • The Waterside project aims to transform 100-acres of the former GM Stamping Plant site. (photo courtesy of Ambrose Property Group)

      Ambrose, Glick Partner on Waterside

      Indianapolis-based Ambrose Property Group has announced a key partnership for the redevelopment of the former GM Stamping Plant in downtown Indianapolis. The commercial real estate firm is teaming up with the Gene B. Glick Co. to build and manage apartments as part of the $1.4 billion mixed-use redevelopment project. Ambrose says the partnership is also part of plans to catalyze "philanthropic and community-centric strategies to strengthen Indianapolis." The firm also...

    • NIBCO is headquartered in Elkhart. (photo courtesy of NIBCO)

      Companies Detail Closures, Layoffs

      Four companies have announced plans to lay off a total of nearly 300 employees. In separate notices filed with the state, the companies say the moves will affect workers in Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, Charlestown and Peru.

    • (Rendering provided by the city of Fishers.)

      Flexware to Break Ground on Headquarters

      Fisher’s based engineering servicing firm, Flexware Innovation Inc., will break ground Thursday on its new headquarters the Nickel Plate District Amphitheater. The $3.5 million project will feature a 35,000-square-foot office building with 12,000-square feet of office space for Flexware and what it calls “a build-to-suit area” in the remaining space. 

    • (rendering courtesy of Brightmark Energy)

      Construction to Begin on Plastics-to-Fuel Plant

      California-based Brightmark Energy will today break ground on its $260 million plastics-to-fuel plant in the northeast Indiana town of Ashley. The 112,000-square-foot facility, which the company says will be the first of its kind in the nation, is expected to create 136 full-time jobs when fully operational. The plant will use a state-of-the-art process to recycle plastic waste that has reached the end of its useful life, including items that normally cannot be recycled, such as...

    • Photo courtesy of Lafayette Elementary School

      Hammond to Close Three Schools, to Cut Jobs

      The  School City of Hammond board has voted to close three schools and cut 130-150 positions. Our partners at The Times of Northwest Indiana report Columbia and Lafayette Elementary schools, and the Miller School will close after this school year.